Detroit Resists Criticizes Ambition of US Pavilion at Venice Biennale


Detroit Resists criticizes the ambition of the US pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Packard Plant Detroit. Image © 2010 JVLIVS Photography, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0




Detroit Resists issued a statement challenging the ambition of the US Pavilion’s The Architectural Imagination exhibition at the 2016 Venice Biennale. The exhibition consists of twelve teams of designers who introduce newly speculative projects that can be applied not only to various locations in Detroit, but also to other cities around the world. While the exhibition aims to understand Detroit’s political, social, economic, and environmental context so that “the power of architecture” can serve the Detroit community, the Detroit Resists testimony claims that this “architectural power” has played a role in the past hat was indifferent to the political context.

“This architectural force has been clearly demonstrated in architecture recruits against indigenous, impoverished, marginalized and precarious communities around the world, usually in the name of ‘development’ or ‘modernization’ in the second half of the 20th century,” it says in the statement.

“We see a global audience still mesmerized by the power of Detroit architecture – impressed by the spectacle of tens of thousands of families living in homes that have been turned off, tens of thousands of“ destroyed ”homes being demolished while the need for affordability persisted Housing conditions remain acute and tens of thousands of families have been evicted from their homes in the largest tax foreclosure in US history. ”

Detroit Resists claims to be curious about what the designers will propose for the city’s future, with no political clout. “We fear, however, that the US pavilion, precisely as an attempt to advocate” the power of architecture “, will structurally not be able to tackle this catastrophe and thus contribute to the ongoing destruction of the city.”

Read the full Detroit Resists statement here. Learn more about The Architectural Imagination here.


Dusty Kennedy